With Lent nearly halfway over, it’s a good time to take a look at today’s psalm, then at our-Lent-selves, then back at the psalm again.
Are our voluntary Lenten disciplines making our souls thirst for God? Or are they just making our husbands duck into another room when they see us coming?
Are we going towards the altar of God—towards Easter Sunday—with exceeding joy, being led by God’s light and God’s truth? Or are we moaning and grumbling as we head towards who-knows-where?
Lent isn’t a time to try to punish ourselves into being deserving of God’s grace. (Especially since that’s not possible, at Lent or any other time.)
Lent is a time to try to be our best selves, to take up new practices that lead us towards God and to leave behind practices that distract us from God.
If giving up chocolate has left us longing for . . . chocolate, rather than for God, perhaps this would be a good time to reassess. When we feel that twinge of desire for sweets, can we use it as a reminder to direct our thoughts towards God? Do we eat a carrot stick AND do some small act of service for someone? Or do we try to fill that sugar-void by shouting at our kids and/or coworkers?
If giving up coffee means that we are too foggy to spend time in morning prayer, perhaps we need to add getting to bed early to our Lenten disciplines. Or maybe now would be the time to try substituting caffeinated tea, instead of just going cold turkey.
Maybe just gutting it out is the best approach to your Lent this year, maybe that’s what will lead you to God’s holy hill. But if your voluntary Lenten disciplines are leading you to hell in a hand-basket instead, you can do something about it! Praise God with your sacrifices today. If we can’t do that, then we’re not making not the right sacrifices.
Where are your voluntary Lenten disciplines taking you today?
Kendra Tierney can be found blogging, homeschooling, and gestating Tierney baby number eight in Los Angeles, CA. You can find out more about her here.